02 May 2016

Essential Kitchen Items for Painting - Part 1 Kitchen Wrap

I thought it might interest you to take a peek into some of my working practices, and will be revealing them on an ad hoc basis.

Like many painters, I make use of use of different everyday items in one form or another during the painting process.

Something I find indispensable is kitchen wrap (cling film / saran wrap). I use it for several things.

- Working out Variations on a (mostly) dry painting.
I make use of it to look at possible variations in a painting. The image below is of a commission of Ulm Pushkin in Montana I am working on. The client wanted the butte a little larger and to stand out more. To gauge how large to go, I placed the wrap over the painting and made a couple of suggestions using a felt tip. She went for the first option.

This could also be used to try out different colours.

- Keeping Paints Moist
Another use is to cover the paints at the end of the day to keep the paints moist. This also works for acrylics - spray the acrylics with water and then cover with the film. Some of the acrylic will stick to the film but the rest will still be moist enough to continue using. This is a great idea when plein aire painting as the palette and paint can be put away without the paint making a mess.

 -Avoiding Brush Cleaning
Wrap the brushes with film at the end of the day to stop them drying overnight. They only need to be washed at the end of the painting

-Avoiding cleaning palettes
I normally use a piece of glass as a palette, but when I use a wooden palette I often cover it with wrap first. When I have finished the painting, the wrap can be thrown away and the palette doesn't need cleaning.

-Working out a composition
I have difficulty translating sketches and ideas onto the larger size of the canvas. Often I cover the canvas in cling film and work out the composition using a felt tip pen. This gives me a good idea of whether the composition and relative sizes will work.

Let me know if you use kitchen wrap and if you have any other ideas for its use.